Adventures Oriental: The Land of the Jade Throne
The Origin of the Clans & the Twelve Kami
The Twelve Original Clans
The Current Great Clans
Friendliest clan to Ronin, as they man the Shadow Lands Wall. They tend to be grim due to the nature of their duty. They excel in the Naginata (asian halberd) and wear very heavy armor. While they are not very mobile, they are nearly as impenatrible as the wall they defend. Their clan favored skill is Knowledge: Shadowlands and they claim a treaty with a Kappa King as their clan founding. Descended from the Bull clan.
Masters of Intrigue
The crane are master courtiers, and claim many famous poets in their lineage. Diplomacy is their clan skill.
Current Daimyo: Emperor Hantei Minamoto Ashikaga Xiao-Qing third of his name; Son of Heaven and Earth; Supreme Ruler of the Middle-Kingdom; Chosen of the Six Dragons; Grandchild of Lord Sun and Lady Moon;
The Imperial Clan, which rules above all others. When the empire was founded the dragons chose this clan to rule, and they do so in their name. As they spend the most time with Dragons, and are the only clan that most dragons will speak with for any long period of time, the Dragon Clan are famous Dragon Shamans. Their clan specailty skill is
Masters of Courage
The Lion clan pioneered the dai-katana (two katana) style of swordsmanship.
Masters of Magic
Masters of Darkness
The Minor Clans
Current Daimyo: Anaguma Kihongo
The Badger Clan are an oddity in Rokugan, technically a “Ronin” Clan whose status was not revoked before the emperor died. The child emperor allowed the Badger Clan to keep it’s status as a minor clan due to their service to him. The family’s ancestral homes in the most distant north were destroyed by a terrifying Oni accidentally summoned by one of their own Shugenja. Most of the family was slain as well leaving those whom were traveling Rokugan as the primary survivors. Thus while the clan has a daimyo, it no longer has a home. The primary objective of the badger clan is to rebuild their home. They constantly seek opportunities to increase the wealth and holdings of the Anaguma so that their castle may be rebuilt. Usually this amounts to mercenary work and / or underhanded swindlingwhich contributes ot the general impression of Badger Samurai as glorified ronin. In the Badger’s mind, it’s all for a noble end. In letting them retain their name the Emperor gave them a second chance; They would not be so dishonorable as to waste the Emperor’s Blessing. Like their mythical ancestor, they are endowed with a nearly unshakable resolve and a fearsome tenacity. Their clan specializes in Tetsubo, a martial art style that uses great war clubs to crack bones while leaving skin unbroken. Due to harsh environs that they called home, all Badger are trained in the Survival Skill.
Current Daimyo: Tonbo Dayu
Current Daimyo: Kitsune Ryosei
When Shingen departed Rokugan with most of the Unicorn clan, some of their number remained behind. These became the Fox Clan and maintained their independence even after the Unicorn returned from their Great Journey. The Fox live deep in the heart of the Kitsune Mori and have a deep understanding of the animal spirits. It is widely believed that the Fox carry the blood of the Kitsune Spirits from whom they take their name and the Fox do not dispute this belief. They have a long rivalry with the Hare Clan.
Current Daimyo: Usagi Ozaki
The Hare were re-founded as a reward to the heroic Ronin Reichin for his selfless bravery against the Bloodspeaker Armies. The Hare are notoriously clever, one of only two clans to have been destroyed and subsequently restored to their status (ironically the other clan to do so, the Scorpion, was the clan that destroyed them). Hare samurai are known for being both clever and lucky as well as savagely intolerant of Bloodspeakers and Kolat Agents: both sworn enemies of the small clan. The Hare have many friends among the Lion, Fox, and Dragon, and even more enemies among the Fox and the Scorpion Clans. One of the few clans directly descended from one of the 12 Great Kami, they have much honor in their names, but few resources to back up that honor due to their recent (in terms of the length of the Empire) destruction under accusations of Blood Sorcery, and later reinstatement for finding and capturing the actual perpetrators. They are masters of ia-jutsu. Their clan specialty skill is Athletics.
Current Daimyo: Goku Toranaga
Descended from one of the twelve Kami this clan was once one of the greatest in the Empire, now they have been greatly reduced. Yet they still remember the taste of glory. The Monkey are friendly and good-natured with a philosophy that mixes much easy-going humor with their honor. Unfortunately this sense of humor has led more than one Monkey to perform pranks on samurai from more powerful clans; Scorpion, Crane, and Lion Samurai are usual targets of Monkey pranks due to their prickliness regarding their pride. Of all the Samurai, the Monkey are the most likely to take to the performing arts (usually the domain of the merchants) save for the tea ceremony which practically none of them practice. Legend has it that the founding Kami of the Monkey clan actually invented Sake (the Rice Wine that is the alcoholic beverage of choice across the empire). Certainly their merchants and craftsmen are the largest dealers of Sake in all of Rokugan. They are also noteworthy for one other particularity: they are the only Original Clan or Former Great Clan to have NOT tried to place themselves in the line of Emperors, and have served emperors since time immemorial. The Child Emperor is particularly fond of the Monkey and their joke-telling Daimyo, which may be the only thing that saves his family’s heads from the wrath of the Scorpions. Their clan invented the Drunken Master Kung-Fu style, a very dubious honor to hold to this day. Their clan specialty skill is Acrobatics.
Current Daimyo: Ushi Moritomo
One of the twelve original clans and smiths with few peers.
Current Daimyo: Suzume Yugoki
“As sparrows are the most common of birds, so are the Sparrow the lowest of Samurai.”
Once the Suzume family were farmers, a member of their family became a ronin, even though such a thing should have cost him his life; however he saved the life of the Emperor from an assasination attempt. The Emperor bestowed lands and titles on his rescuer. Later the Great Clans of the time brought proof that the man whom went by the Suzume name was nothing but a commoner and demanded the execution of his entire family line for the crimes of: wielding a sword, touching the emperor, and impersonating a samurai (each crime carried a minimum penalty of death for Suzume). Luckily an Imperial Scribe “found” documentation, most ancient, in a part of the palace that only the Imperial Family is allowed to inspect, recording the Suzume name as being a minor offshoot of the Crane family. The Scribe explained to the angered clans (particularly the Crane) that this documentation was both too fragile, and too important, to transport to the Courts, and thus they would have to take the word of the Emperor on this matter. Thus Suzume’s life was spared, but to this day most Samurai look down on Sparrow samurai as less than Ronin. The Sparrow follow a path of honourable poverty, living their lives with as little ostentation as possible. Since the Suzume are still Samurai, they live better than most peasants. Not forgetting their secret lineage, Sparrow peasants live much better than others of their caste anywhere else in the Empire. Even the UnTouchables in Sparrow lands enjoy a higher status than they do almost anywhere else. The Sparrow guard the Golden Sun Plain, a vast and lush farmland that is the source of most all the Empire’s wheat (wheat being something of a “poorman’s” delicacy considering rice is more commonly available). The sparrow place great emphasis on the Yari (Spear), the sling, and austere, simplistic beauty.
Current Daimyo: Kasuga Taigen
The Crab are a small clan dwelling along the Peninsula of Dawn north of the Imperial Capital. While their purpose is to serve as diplomats and couriers for the Imperial Court, they are not an Imperial Family themselves. In fact, their duties often lead them to labors many see as beneath a true samurai such as commerce and interactions with gaijin. In truth, the Crab’s slightly soiled image works to their advantage. They have always secretly served the emperor as smugglers, spies, and enforcers. The Crab can work with subtlety due to their perceived distance from the Imperial Families. With the disappearance of the Dolphin clan, the Crab Clan are the primary shippers of goods along the coast and compete with the Mantis Clan for control of the shipping along the riverways and canals of the Empire. Moreover, the Captains of the ships (those that make the military decisions) are often Samurai. Of course Merchants still make all the necessary business arangements as is their place, but the ships are defended and commanded by Samurai loyal to the Crab Clan. Crab Samurai are often mocked by the Samurai of the Great Clans for being little better than merchants (whom you will recall are very low on the caste system). Yet, many peoples rely on the trade brought by the Crab Clan.
The mantis clan are masters of the Kama, a “peasant weapon” that can be put to great effect whether one is reaping grain or men.
Woodworkers and archers of excellent renown.